For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Was the universe created with a Big Bang? Modern science points in that direction. People a lot smarter than me have come up with this and have evidenced it by finding background noise in the cosmos which seems to verify their assumption. There are many interesting proofs of this, both mathematically and otherwise. Does this means order came from Chaos? I guess the best way to test that theory quickly would be to take a cell phone and smash it with a sledge hammer. Now, put it in a bag and start shaking. The idea that order came from Chaos says you should eventually have a cell-phone again. However, the opposite will be the case. The longer you shake the bag, the more the contents will break down. Eventually, there won't be anything left! Does this mean there was no Big Bang? I'm not saying that. The only thing for sure is that God Created and he did it in 6 days....of course He did. He could have done it in 6 milliseconds, but these 6 days were a prophetic picture of the 6000 years of man prior to the 7th millenium - the 7th Day of Creation pictured this 7000 year period. One thing I'd like to add is that the basic structure of our planet which consists of granite was created within approximately 20 minutes - not the billions of years evolution claims. This is proven by the signature of Polonium 238 halos. If you doubt what I'm saying, check it out and check the alternative view. The alternative view holds no water. My opinion is based on faith that the bible is literal and true as written. Therefore I believe in a literal 6-day creation. I suppose God could have created everything in 1 second or 1 billion years, but as I said the 6 days are a symbol of our 6000 year control over the planet before the 7th Millenium or Sabbath day.
Back to the Big Bang - this is a tough question, but even man has limited control over big bangs as evidenced by the picture here. We know before we set off a nuclear bomb how big it's going to be, how far back we should be standing, and what we can add to it to make it bigger, hotter, or more destructive. Now imagine an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present God. I suppose He could have done it with a bang for the fun of it -that's His prerogative. Being all present, he could control every facet of the Bang. Being all knowing, there would be no chance of it getting out of control or fizzling, and being all powerful even the biggest bang we could comprehend wouldn't be too much for Him! Have I answered any of your questions yet? I hope not or, like me, you're not very deep. This page isn't about a Big Bang anyway. No matter how God created, the fact is that He did it. My profession is treating wastewater. Yes, I take your bad water and make it good again. Well, actually God does that too! I just use what He has given us to do it. Every year I go to the local school and teach a class or two on Chemistry and/or Biology. This is one of my favorite things to do. I so much love to see the sparkle in young eyes as I show the glory of what God has given us. I usually start the class with a prayer and throw in Bible trivia throughout the class. I also give each child a hand-out. I'm going to modify it a bit for this web-site, but below you can read about wastewater treatment. As you read it, think about how marvelous God is for giving us the ability to take something so disgusting and turn it back into something we can use again.
The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or a word;
their voice is silent in the skies;
yet their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to all the world.
The sun lives in the heavens
where God placed it.
It couldn't be any clearer His handiwork is everywhere! As you read what we do at a water treatment facility, remember how wonderful He's been to us, giving us the ability to return water back to a pure, clean state with the use of little micro-organisms which live and thrive everywhere in nature. He's given us the ability to figure out complex chemistry and biological activities which simplify our jobs.
The operation I run is in on one of the islands in Sarasota, Florida. It's an Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility rated to treat approximately 2.7 million gallons per day, or 985,500,000 gallons a year! The process starts with the screening of sewer to remove large debris which travels in the water, such as rags, toys, food, money, or anything else that will fit down a toilet or drain pipe. This is done with a rotating bar-screen which traps the items and sends them up an augur to dewater them. After that, they drop into a chute and slide down into a dumpster where they are taken out by the friendly garbage man to the dump. If these large items don't get removed, they will plug pumps and screens in the process and cause malfunctions and backups. Then you've got a big mess and trouble with your boss! Now that you know this, you would do your local wastewater treatment plant a big favor if you didn't put big things down your toilet .... except the money. We can always wash it off and reuse it. It usually comes to us in pretty good shape. Thanks for the freebies.
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The next station is grit removal. The water is slowed down to less than one foot per second and the heavier solids such as sand settle out. These are removed by hand weekly by draining the water from the grit unit and shoveling it into a slide and - whoosh - right down into the dumpster. This also gets taken out by the garbage man. If you ever see a flock of seagulls following a garbage truck, he's probably just come from our plant! If we don't remove this heavy and abrasive material, it will cause wear and tear on the equipment and it won't last long. It can also plug up lines and pipes.
After the grit is removed, the water and any dissolved solids travel into the first of the biological treatment tanks. The water is split between a contact tank and a reaerification tank. These use microorganisms to eat the organic material, converting it into harmless bio-solids - this is kind of what worms do when they make dirt out of leaves and other organic material. The water is heavily aerated using large air blowers which are basically stationary airplane engines. The oxygen they provide is used by the microorganisms. At this same point, Sodium Aluminate Al2(S04)3 is introduced to combine with phosphates (Po4). These form metallic solids which become heavier than water and are removed at a later point. The phosphates need to be removed as they cause algal blooms in the receiving waters. In these tanks, the microorganisms not only convert the organic material, but they also convert Ammonia to Nitrate - NH3 becomes N03.
After these two tanks the water travels on to the clarification tanks. In these tanks, there is no motion or disturbance in the water and the solids settle to the bottom of the tanks (thus clarifying the water). The clean water goes over weirs and on to the next stage of treatment. The solids on the bottom are collected by movable suction pipes and pumped back to the reaerification tank for reuse by the treatment process.
The clear water from the clarifiers is sent through a Nitrification Basin next. In this tank, any unconverted NH3 is converted to N03. The water goes from there to a Holding Tank. The Holding Tank does nothing for the treatment process; it's pretty useless other than as temporary storage.
From the Holding Tank, the water is pumped upwards through Denitrification Filters. In these tanks, microorganisms live in a sand media and convert the nitrate to nitrogen gas. N03 becomes N.
In this wastewater, there is no free oxygen or organic material for the microorganisms to survive. As every living thing needs food, water, and air to survive, we need to feed methanol as a carbon food source. However, we don't feed air. So where do these little fellows get their air? Right, they eat the oxygen molecule off of the N03, thereby converting it to nitrogen gas. Yay! Now the nitrogen can effervesce into the atmosphere quite harmlessly. If we don't remove all forms of nitrogen, they'll cause algal blooms in the receiving water.
Q. Why is it important to remove the Nitrogen and Phosphates? To eliminate algal blooms in the receiving water. Why is that important? If the algae gets out of control, it removes oxygen from the water and leaves Flipper and his friends - other fish, turtles, Mr. Limpet, etc., with no oxygen to breathe. They'll die and start to stink. Pretty soon everything is septic and filled with disease. Don't you see how important this is? Pay attention!
After these tanks, the water travels on to a Tertiary Clarifier. This is the same concept as the previous clarifiers. These solids were produced by the microorganisms as they worked in the Denitrification tanks and need to be removed.
Next, we travel through the Sand Filters. These are just big filters like you would see on the side of someone's house. The water travels through them and any fine particles are removed. This reduces the solids in the stream to unbelievably low levels. The water comes out looking like a mountain stream. Hooray!
From there the water travels through a Chlorine Contact Tank. At this point, bleach (NaCl) is applied to the stream. The water moves slowly through a serpentine pattern to ensure total mixing of the water with the bleach. The bleach kills all the bad microorganisms it can to protect the public from stomach aches, diarrhea, etc. Yahoo!
Finally, we inject a Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) mixture to the stream. This de-chlorinates the water almost instantly. The EPA has decided that bleach in the receiving waters is a bad thing, and therefore, it needs to be removed. And we do a great job of that....booyah! From here, the water heads out to the Grand Canal of Siesta Key and works its way back into the water cycle.
The sludge which is re-used in the process (see Clarification) eventually builds up to unsustainable levels and a portion of it is removed from the process each day. This process is called "Wasting." Wasted sludge is thickened and hauled out by large trucks and spread on fields in rural areas. Talk about great fertilizer - this is the stuff! It reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and is good for the environment in comparison to them.
The way you should think of wasting is to compare it to a busload of children going to McDonald's for lunch. If you have too many children and not enough burgers, the children will go hungry and soon start to die off - they will then start to smell. If you have too many burgers and not enough children, there will be a waste of burgers which will eventually start to rot and stink. We need to calculate the number of microorganisms (children) in comparison to the amount of incoming organic material (burgers). The excess of microorganisms are wasted out of the system. So long children!
For further information on wastewater treatment, you should stop by your local facility and pay close attention to all the sights, smells, and sounds. Tasting the process may not be the best idea.
As you can see, the treatment of wastewater actually glorifies the Creator from start to finish. He gave us the elements which we manipulate to make pipes, tanks, chemicals, etc. He arranged them so that we can predict what their most beneficial use would be. He created the microorganisms which do all the treatment. He is the Great Mathematician who developed order in numbers. Can you imagine the headache if he put 4 before 3! He gave us both the wisdom and ability to put it all together so that we can avoid polluting ourselves right out of a planet. The problems that do arise come from a willing lack of faith in His presence and a disdain for that which is right.
The next time you use water, you should thank God for the gifts he has given us in order to make it good again. God developed all these methods so that the Earth and waters will heal themselves.
Nuke: Mushroom Cloud Picture Gallery.
Mountain: Photo Lab and Gallery by Suzuki.